With a No. 44-ranked RPI, a No. 51-ranked strength of schedule, according to ESPN, Seton Hall (21-11, 10-8) got a more favorable draw than previous year. "We were trying to make plays".
Kentucky claimed its 30th SEC Tournament Championship with a 82-65 win over Arkansas on Sunday. "He's a 19 year old playing against Arkansas".
But continuing that trend wasn't an easy task.
They won seven of eight games before Saturday's tilt with Arkansas.
"We came out with way more energy than they did", Monk said. We needed some of the feeling that we had today. The Commodores shot a flawless 5-5 in overtime to outdo Florida's 1-6 clip as Vandy's Riley LaChance led all scorers with 18 points - including the dagger three with 2:18 left in overtime to seal the game. Kevin Puryear was the hero in the game, hitting the buzzer-beater and leading all scorers with 30 points.
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Arkansas, meanwhile, started 1-for-7 and went almost three minutes without a point before catching fire for its own 7-0 run to grab a 9-7 advantage. "I mean, I've just got to learn from that". Arkansas was only 37 percent with 11 rebounds and nine turnovers. The Kentucky Wildcats are shooting 35.2 percent from beyond the arc and 69.6 percent from the free throw line. "Just a lot of emotion in the game and everybody wanted to win really bad". Watkins had five points.
"Then they got Bam". Isaiah Briscoe is the third double-digit scorer and Edrice Adebayo is grabbing 7.7 rebounds. Even in their win over Georgia, they covered by ½ a point. De'Aaron Fox led with 28, Malik Monk scored 20 and Edrice Adebayo finished with 10. Fox was 8-of-12 on field goals and 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Arkansas was paced by junior guard Daryl Macon with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Vanderbilt nearly crashed the party, but was only able to beat Florida by 10 points and eventually upset the second-seeded Gators, 72-62. 2016 SEC Sixth Man of the Year Duane Notice played 31 minutes and scored zero points for SC, while Alabama got a game-high 18 points from Braxton Key. The Wildcats made four of their first six shots to open the second half to extend their lead to 16 points and comfortably held a double-digit lead until Arkansas' Jaylen Barford swished a three-pointer with 1:38 left to play to cap a 15-5 rally for Arkansas (25-9) that ultimately came up short. "We were both playing for a championship, so people are very emotional".
The Wildcats were pushed harder in their semifinal game with the Alabama Crimson Tide than they expected, but were able to grind out a 79-74 win over Avery Johnson's talented defensive team.
"But we're continuing to progress ... you can see us going somewhere with the program".